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Blue-Collar scholars come together in “Working Class Academics”

January 29, 2001

First-generation college students who become first-generation faculty members. Children of teachers who become university teachers. They can find the hallowed halls of academia a bit intimidating if they've had a “bowling alley” upbringing.

Observing the discomfort of her fellow working-class colleagues, sociologist Barbara J. Peters, of Southhampton College of Long Island University, decided to form a support group. The result: Working Class Academics, an Internet forum with about 200 members who meet in cyberspace to vent and to advise one another.

The group also holds annual conferences. The sixth is in Houston this spring, where members present papers, “hold erudite conversations, then head for local diner for the keynote banquet.”

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